Team Email — a decade of entrepreneurial spirit
Namecheap’s Professional Business Email turned ten this month, and a few of us gathered our thoughts on this milestone moment. You see, working at Namecheap on the email team is inspirational, thrilling, and also fun, respectful, and flexible. There’s something harder to quantify here, a kind of refreshing freedom with decision-making built on trust at the same time.
We spoke with three members of our Product team who together shepherd around 80 customer service, dev, UX, UI, BI, content, SEO, design, and marketing colleagues, contributing to everything that makes Namecheap’s Professional Business Email universe what it is today.
Talking together about their first ten years soon led to discussions on the business’s culture, how scrums work, and what it takes to thrive when you work inside a product-led technology business.
I wanted to understand how the entrepreneurial spirit around the product still burns bright after ten years. The full interview is published on LinkedIn, but I’ve included a few snippets in this article that spoke to me of the essence of what makes a great product team tick.
How to blaze a trail in business
Anyone who works for Namecheap will tell you there are thrilling moments. Like when your idea goes from conception to ‘we can do this,’ or you hear from customers responding with delight to the latest UX changes.
Product Manager and team leader Christina Panina explains how the email product team became more customer-led and closely integrated with marketing in recent times. This has meant “we hear back from our customers all the time — we listen to everything they say, and they are our best source,” she adds that now “we make the changes they want, not what we think they wanted, and this has led to huge growth.”
In a company jostling for the top spot as a worldwide domain registrar, Vadim Muntyanov, Junior Product Manager, adds, “email works as a smaller business within the company, breathing synchronously with other business units all focused on one goal. Product growth.” Christina tells us how at Namecheap, “what’s unique about this company is our constant desire to stay flexible and rapid with our decisions. Fail fast is our core principle: experiment, learn, and adjust as soon as you can.”
What do we do?
Christina’s days are varied, and she tells me soft skills like empathy and communication with colleagues are “highly valued” in Product Managers. She explains how Namecheap product teams investigate market activity:
“We’re proactive in the market analysis that we do, including regular surveys that help us better identify customer problems and possibilities.”
When asked how the team communicates, Christina says proudly, “why, by our own email product, of course — the whole company, 1,500 people across three continents who all currently work remotely!” And in a true show of the Namecheap entrepreneurial spirit, she tells me if she could take any role in the company for 90 days just to see what this is like, she’d want to be a customer, looking at things with a “fresh lens,” experiencing the product as it is now.
Over ten years that ability to innovate, thrive under pressure, and iterate for ‘now’ has seen the Professional Business Email team add more than $6 million in annual revenue — earning its place as a priority Namecheap product. Not bad going, considering only ten years ago they began to create a commercially viable technology product.
How do we get it done?
Inside the teams at Namecheap, tough decisions are made every day. Vadim comments that this friction and responsibility is “a nice driver all on its own and part of the thrill of creating products and leading innovation.”
He adds, “When you stop developing, you go in reverse, really. When you think you’ve got something technically perfect, you start regressing — because the technology world is always in forward motion”. Is there conflict? He says, “definitely — but we are so comfortable with that because it means we see things from different angles and in the end build great products.”
Once we get onto the topic of how Namecheap’s Professional Business Email team works day-to-day, you get a sense of how the business values team potential alongside positivity and a good sense of humor. Product Coordinator Vlada Romanovskaya tells me, “During our ten years, we’ve received just enough revenue to buy a nice island in the Bahamas.”
There is, of course, a serious side beneath all that humor — core to the Namecheap way — but it’s important to keep everything in balance. Vlada compares email’s 225K active customers to the population of Bordeaux, France. And then, of course, we get a little distracted when discussing holidays and fine wine.
Christina quips, “I often think people new to the company don’t realize the seriousness is never going to come.” You see, many of Namecheap’s staff work remotely at present, and everyone remembers it’s important to “be a human” — an ethos deeply ensconced in Namecheap’s culture and not just a “would like to have.”
It’s a recipe for success (and well-being) and one of those slightly hard-to-measure things that keeps the entrepreneurial flame alive.
One more killer question
Taking it back to the product, I remark on the landing page subheader, inviting users to “send their brand out there” on email. It’s a page with images that look cosmic and far-reaching. I asked the team, what’s the message when it comes to Professional Business Email? Why should people buy it?
Vadim explains, “Everyone in the universe is just one click away from you with our email. It contains all the professional tools needed for your business. Compared to ten years ago, it has a modern UI, a set of intuitive functions, the security and privacy required in a world full of cyber threats, and subscription plans tuned to cover everyone’s needs, from a solopreneur to a small or middle team to a large company like ours.”
Concerning privacy, so crucial to our customers, Vlada explains, “with many trading around the globe, all their private data is safely stored on our powerful servers, and it’s now into hundreds of terabytes. They can send their brand out there, but it’s safe and secure in here”.
Christina adds, “owning a professional and secure email is essential for a business. You never get a second chance to make a first impression — and a custom email does that for you.” She reflects, “what customers might not be so aware of is that to us, the details matter. The attention we pay to even the smallest update or change is as important as the bigger changes. We have your back, especially on email security and privacy.”
Team picks to help you with your new email plan
You can use our email hosting with any domain you have registered with us or anywhere else, or just as a stand-alone plan. Here are a few of our favorite resources to point you in the right direction with a hosted email account.
- Why your remote business needs a professional email. Are you a first-time business email user? Learn why email is the best way to stay connected.
- Namecheap’s Business email setup 101 guide. This will help you set up everything we offer in your package and make sure you get the most out of your email account.
- Short, snackable videos demonstrating Professional Business Email features. Here are a series of easy-to-follow videos showing you everything you can do in your email account.
Ten years and celebrating
As we look back over these ten years, I think I can sum up what it’s like to work in our product teams in one word. Patience. You have space to create and time not just to flesh out your ideas but be sure they’re the right ideas. There’s respect for people’s endless potential and an understanding that a company’s strength grows from within — and that goes for everyone.
And remember to keep a close eye on the Professional Business Email page for our latest offers. We want everyone to explore new horizons and send out their brand with us. Make sure you read more in our in-depth 10th birthday interview with Professional Business Email’s team superstars on LinkedIn — and maybe have a look at a few of our latest roles while you’re there? We’re hiring!